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China Welcomes South Korea's Push for Talks With North Amid Nuclear Crisis

© Sputnik / Iliya Pitalev / Go to the mediabankPeople at a ceremony to open a new residential area on Ryomyong Street in Pyongyang.
People at a ceremony to open a new residential area on Ryomyong Street in Pyongyang. - Sputnik International
Beijing has praised the Seoul's initiative to hold talks with Pyongyang over the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula as tensions between the parties of the row remain high.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — China views South Korea’s offer to hold military and Red Cross talks with North Korea as "positive messages," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Monday.

"We noticed the South Korean government sent a couple of positive messages in pushing to resolve the issues on the Korean Peninsula," Lu said, adding that China hopes both sides on the peninsula can work together toward the positive direction and create preconditions for breaking the current deadlock and restart of dialogue.

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South Korea proposed to hold an inter-Korean military talk on Friday, July 21, at Tongilgak, a North Korean building in the truce village of Panmunjom, the nation’s vice defense minister, Suh Choo-suk, said at a press conference in Seoul on Monday.

The South Korean official added that the meeting aims to stop "all acts of hostility" near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) that divides the two nations on the Korean Peninsula.

If the meeting is to take place as planned, it would be the first dialogue between the military authorities of the two sides in almost three years; their previous meeting was held on October 15, 2014.

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Separately, South Korean authorities also offered to restart Red Cross talks on August 1, to discuss options to resume family reunions on the Chuseok holiday in early October. A previous joint event was held in October 2015 to arrange the reunion of families separated by the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Tensions continue to escalate on the Korean Peninsula as North Korea conducts missile tests with increased frequency. The latest test took place on July 4, when Pyongyang said it had successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Hwasong-14.

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